I am saddened but not surprised to read the recent article on GolfDigest.com by Jaime Diaz “Why is Bernhard Langer guilty until proven innocent?”
In my Feb 17th 2016 “Ambiguous Anchoring Rule” post I expressed my disappointment to hear the chatter after his Chubb Classic victory implying that he may be violating the Anchoring rule, and stated then, as I will now, that “Bernhard is one of the most honest and sincere individuals that I have met on Tour. He clearly understands the rule and would not violate it.”
In this post I re-emphasized two points made in my October 2015 article “The Point of Anchoring” regarding adoption and implementation of anchoring rule, which were:
“There was no evidence that anchoring had a detrimental effect on the game.”
“The way it has been explained and written introduces ambiguity, confusion, complexity as well as difficulty in monitoring, all of which will inevitably lead to disagreement and confrontation. This is not good for the game.”
When we introduce a questionable rule for possibly good reasons but not clearly explained, and it turns out to be worse than the perceived problem, then we need to take a new look at the anchoring rule and the objective for adopting it.
As Technical Director of the USGA I dedicated a good portion of my life to writing, interpreting and monitoring the equipment rules, and subsequently researching putting. I sincerely believe in the importance of simplicity and clarity of the rules which promotes observance.
A proposed alternative to the anchoring rule – which took approximately 20,000 words to explain— is only 17 words long and reads “The length of the putter shall be no longer than the shortest club in the player’s bag.” ( Ref. Point of Anchoring Oct 2015)
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